The 20 Something Years: 27
On Freedom & Vulnerability

The 20 Something Years: On Freedom, The Future & Enough

Shauna Neiquist, Bread & Wine
{Photo Credit}

It's 5 AM, like every morning I'm watching the sun light the day with a stack of books, and coffee in my favorite Kate Spade mug with seize the day written inside, thinking about what it means to have a "deep sense of gratitude, while longing for something more."

Over the weekend I was listening to a friend's life story starting from high school until this point in her mid-twenties. It was like listening to a script written for a prime time series complete with great loves and rich experiences, and I found myself comparing my story to hers. 

Have I lived enough for twenty-seven? 
Have I risked enough? Loved enough?
Did I waste time? Could I have done more?
And ultimately, Am I enough?

How do some people get to live those beautiful charmed lives while others are plagued by family chaos, health conditions, and heartache? It's not logical, and there's no map or formula to blessing.

Blessing is independent of performance, this is the essence of grace and the gospel. Yet all too often I find myself asking God from a place of entitlement and ingratitude what Esau asked Jacob, "Father, haven't you reserved any blessing for me?" {Genesis 27:36}.

God often asks me in return how I'm stewarding the blessings He's already bestowed, like my freedom.

There is a magical caffeinated feeling that freedom produces like anything can happen and it just might last forever. Los Angeles pulses with this energy and it's one of the reasons I miss it. However, on the other side of the shimmery energy of freedom is uncertainty. This is a paradox because we're called to live in freedom, not paralysis by the very gift of it. 

The key to living any season well is avoiding the temptation to evaluate our lives based on only one chapter of the story. It would be like evaluating Monet's Waterlilies by looking at one tiny corner. 

It's time to let go of that longing for the dots to connect and the pieces to fall into place, and cultivate gratitude. This is the season for long dinners on patios over wine and dessert, it's a season for late nights downtown, and early mornings of solitude and literary binges. This season is about creating a way of life I love, without forcing my way through, bullying life into submission.

Our mission is to resist the urge to compare our lives, in favor of creating a life that's original to us, and therefore uniquely ours, and consequently, incomparable.

If we choose not to embrace this season of becoming and possibility, before we know it we'll end up tethered to mortgages and school districts, without having fully lived through this season of freedom and flexibility.

"She talked about how she felt like a grown-up - meaning she felt trapped in a job she didn't love to pay a mortgage for a home she didn't love, all the while plagued by the nagging feeling that this was supposed to make her happy" {Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet}.

What a gift to be young, free, and independent, with our future in front of us?

"It is up to our generation of twenty somethings to challenge the pressurized idea that today's young women must have it all and to champion the concept that the twenties are a time to discover our identity and goals while building a firm foundation for the rest of our lives" {Christine Hassler, 20 Something 20 Everything}.

P1010130

From wherever we sit this morning, in whatever season of life, let's use our moments of uncertainty to cultivate a deep sense of gratitude, which will serve as a compass, keeping us profoundly grounded and rooted in grace.

How are you cultivating groundedness and gratitude in your own life? Please share in the comments.

Love wins,
Lisamarie

Support Request: If Paper & Glam serves you, please support it by liking the Facebook page, pinning an image, sharing a link, or telling a friend. Thanks so much, I'm deeply grateful for your support.

Comments

Kelzy Wilder

Hey, LM! I recently discovered your blog, and binge-read it. Your links for "related articles" give me an Error 404, and I thought you'd like to know about that!

You are giving me so much inspiration. I'm going through a period of being lost, and trying to renew my faith. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world.

The comments to this entry are closed.